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Cooking Matters – Learning how to shop for, and cook, healthy meals on a budget

By Michele Palmer, Food Programs Manager

Earlier this year, Tri-Lakes Cares partnered with Care & Share Food Bank of Southern Colorado to begin offering “Cooking Matters” classes to our clients.

Per Jessica McConnell, the Cooking Matters Program Manager at Care & Share Food Bank of Southern Colorado:

Cooking Matters helps families to shop for and cook healthy meals on a budget, as part of Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign.

Cooking Matters offers cooking, food skills, and nutrition education for community members facing food-insecurity. We provide courses and tours throughout El Paso County to teach skills for creating healthy meals and stretching food budgets to ensure families are fed and nourished. The classes are hands-on, skill-building, and discussion based to introduce low-income families to healthy possibilities within their financial means. We staff classes with Nutrition and Culinary experts, and other volunteers from the community, so the participants can get the most knowledge from the classes.

Sisters, Bella and Micah cooking up some fun in the kitchen!

In July, we concluded our first “Cooking Matters” class for families. Trinity Lutheran Church offered their kitchen facilities for 4 families (4 adults and 4 children) to learn about shopping and cooking healthy meals on a budget. With the help of Jane, a Tri-Lakes Cares volunteer nutritionist, the families and other TLC volunteers prepared dishes which were both budget-wise and healthy. Everyone then ate together, with the clients receiving the ingredients to re-create the meal at home. After completing the 6-week course, the graduates received a cookbook, cutting board, reusable grocery shopping bag and, best of all, a super-duper, high quality Chef’s knife!

We are currently conducting our second session of “Cooking Matters” – this one for adults only.

If you would like to learn more about the “Cooking Matters” classes please contact Paula Blair, Programs Manager at (719) 481-4864, ext 112.

 

Ayla and her brother study the weekly sales ads. Hmmm…what will be on the menu?

 

Chef Lynne (and TLC Volunteer) teaching about cooking, prep and knife skills.

 

Volunteer nutritionist Jane did a fantastic job teaching the aspiring home chefs about nutrition, smart shopping on a budget, and menu planning.

Some of the proud graduates! They successfully completed the 6-week course and received a cookbook, cutting board, reusable grocery bag, and best of all, a super duper high quality chef’s knife!

 

The Cooking Matters classes would not be possible without our fabulous volunteers! From left to right: Mary, Lori, Paul, Lynne, Rebecca and Jane. A big thank you!

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